The story of Creation is moving toward a climactic moment when Jesus will reappear among us as conquering king and victor. He will come to fully establish God’s Kingdom and reign here on earth. This rule will correct the problem of evil in the world, vanquishing Satan completely and finally, ushering in a kingdom of righteousness and justice. Until then, we seek to live as His faithful followers between the times as a beautiful reflection of His heart and character to the world.
We believe that the existence of God is a reality, attested to by creation, confirmed by the Bible, and demonstrated in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
God is Love
We believe God is a being who defines love, instead of just possessing it. He IS love! It is because of His great love for us that we know what real love looks like. His being is the source and wellspring of any true concept of love on earth – love’s very essence. 1 John 4:8b
God Acts on His Love
God’s love is active! Because He IS love, God acts on that love in self-sacrificial ways. God created everything, including humanity, so that He could enjoy a relationship with His Creation—not because God needed to, but because He wanted to. When the human race decided to turn its back on God, we sinned and broke the relationship with Him. However, God did not turn His back on us and, even though we are often faithless, God remains faithful to us, refusing to leave us to our sin.
God loved the world so much that He sent His son, Jesus, the second person of the Trinity, to take on flesh in order to rescue us from the consequences of our human folly and repair the damage caused by our sin. There is now a way back to the Father through Jesus for those who place their faith in Him. John 3:16 and 14:6
Jesus is God’s beloved Son as well as an actual person who lived among humanity.
Jesus was born supernaturally of a virgin and He is fully divine and fully human.
Jesus is Perfect
Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life, demonstrating God’s perfect will for all people everywhere.
Jesus gave His life as an atoning sacrifice for the sin of the human race.
Jesus conquered death by rising from the grave in bodily form by the power of God.
Jesus is the only one truly qualified to be a Savior for the entire human race, and He will be acknowledged as such in the last days when He comes again. All people will recognize Him as King. Philippians 2:6-11
About the Holy Spirit
We Are Not in This Alone
When Jesus ascended into heaven to return to the right hand of the Father, He did not abandon us. He sent us a counselor and comforter, the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is...
- the presence of God among humanity following Jesus’ ascension and lives in those who place their faith in Jesus.
- the One who endows people with gifts for ministry so that the Kingdom of God may continue to grow and flourish. Romans 12 & 1 Corinthians 12
- the One who empowers people who entrust their lives to Christ with the ability to follow the teachings of Jesus. Galatians 6
About the Church
Unity Among Believers
We believe that the prayer of Jesus Christ (John 17) declares unity among believers to be the greatest expression of God’s love for the world and the greatest witness to it of the fact that He himself is Messiah.
The Local Church Should Reflect Unity
We believe that the pattern of the New Testament local church reflects unity and that in these churches, people of various ethnicities and economic means pursued God together as one.
The Kingdom of Heaven Is Not Segregated
We believe that the kingdom of heaven is not segregated along ethnic and economic lines and that local churches on earth should not be either.
Our World is Not a Perfect Place
Even though God called His Creation very good (Genesis 1 & 2), that goodness and beauty became marred as a consequence of humanity’s failure to choose God’s will instead of their own (Genesis 3). Evil is a very real temptation that is in direct opposition to the will of God and it lies at the root of every form of human suffering. The author of evil is Satan, a potent spiritual being that seeks to destroy human lives in any way possible. John 10:10
Evil Doesn’t Get the Last Word
God’s plan to reconcile this gap between Himself and humanity is wrapped up in Christ. He reconciles and redeems humanity through His Son, Jesus, providing a way for mankind to be forgiven of their sins. Jesus overcame sin and death but the the full revelation of His triumph will not be seen until He reappears in power at the end of history. Until then, we who are part of God’s Kingdom function as Christ’s ambassadors to the world and are committed to connecting our generation to the redemptive work of Christ.
We Participate in Victory Over Evil Through Faith in Christ Alone
Human beings, though capable of doing great good, can never measure up to the standard of holiness and righteousness necessary to become right with God again. In short, we are all sinners in need of a Savior! Therefore, we affirm that God’s favor comes only through grace (unmerited favor) when we surrender our lives to Jesus’ will and direction. It’s through a committed relationship to Jesus that we become His active followers and experience God’s saving grace. 1 John 3:1 & 4:9-10
Everyone is Made in the Image and Likeness of God
In June 2020, our Session formally adopted the statements below on race and reconciliation. These are adapted from the OneRace Atlanta Covenant, which we support, and can be viewed here in it’s entirety .
We believe all people are made in the image and likeness of God. In all of creation, there is only one entity – the human race – that is created in the image of God. As image bearers of the divine, each human being is endowed with inestimable worth and value.
We reject and renounce any ideology that promotes a culture or gender as superior to another. We stand against racism in every form, never again allowing it to gain a foothold within our spheres of influence. We publicly and privately declare that all people are made in the image and likeness of God, through preaching and practice, affirming the dignity and value of every person regardless of culture or gender.
About Christian Life
Baptism is the Initial Outward Demonstration of Our New Life in Christ
Washing outwardly with water is a demonstration of a much greater spiritual reality. It’s a picture of how God’s grace makes us clean and whole. There’s nothing inherently powerful in the waters of baptism, only that it becomes a sign of God’s power at work in us. We baptize believers who can articulate their trusting faith in Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
We also baptize the young children of parents who have committed themselves to be followers of Jesus as a sign of God’s call on the life of that child and of that child’s inclusion in God’s covenant family. Even before they’re old enough to respond, we publicly acknowledge that they belong first and foremost to God. Together with their family, we pledge to do everything possible to point them to Jesus so that one day they may make the promises of their baptism their very own, placing their own personal faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior.
The forms of baptism (immersion, pouring, sprinkling) are not of paramount importance to us. Instead, we desire that the heart and life of those who receive this valuable gift be wholly surrendered to Jesus Christ.
We Live Differently as a Result of Our Relationship with Jesus
Because believers have been reconciled to God through Christ, we seek to live a life that reflects the life of Christ rather than what we feel is natural. While this is not an instantaneous transformation, we do believe that it is ongoing and progressive. By God’s grace, we are seeking to be a demonstration of what God originally intended at Creation. Matthew 4:17-22
We Try to Live in the Reality that the Kingdom of God is Among Us...
- by a strong and steadfast commitment to one another in and through our small groups.
- by reflecting the truth that in Christ all people are equal. Therefore, we welcome both women and men into the full spectrum of leadership in Christ’s body as equals, mirroring God’s original intent before sin distorted His vision for Creation. Galatians 3:28
- by exhibiting the fruits of the Spirit in the way we interact with each other.
We Live to Serve Others
We are “saved to serve!” Experiencing God’s grace in Jesus is not an end in and of itself. Just like Jesus humbled Himself and took on the role of a servant, we seek to serve others regardless of what their background, economic status, or lifestyle may be.
We Seek to Protect the Most Vulnerable Among Us
We believe that all of life is precious. We affirm that since all persons are created in the image of God, they are valuable and should be treated as such. We further affirm that followers of Jesus should stand in solidarity with all those who seek to safeguard the life of persons and that we should oppose those practices that seek to usurp the role of a Sovereign God in extinguishing a life according to human designs and timetables.
About the Bible
The Bible is our ultimate authority for truth and provides guidance for all matters of faith and practice concerning how a believer should follow Jesus.
No greater source of truth exists for followers of Christ than the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. As the divinely inspired Word of God penned by human hands, these scriptures are the unique and authoritative witness to God’s will for humankind and are completely trustworthy to understand how we are to think and live. The Bible is the highest standard of truth because it witnesses to the self-revelation of God in Jesus Christ as the perfect embodiment of God’s will for humanity.